Sunderland’s 26-year-old American Lynden Gooch does not know where he will be playing his football next season.
That is according to a report from the Northern Echo, who claim that the American’s future is up in the air, with talks over his future at the Stadium of Light scheduled to take place on Tuesday.
Despite playing the full 90 minutes in Sunderland’s 2-0 win over Wycombe Wanderers in the League One play-off final, the player who has been at Sunderland since 2016 said this after the game that secured promotion:
“I don’t know where I’m going to be next season so we’re going to have to wait and see. If this is my last game for Sunderland then there is not a better way to go out.
“I’ve got a meeting with him (Alex Neil) on Tuesday and we’ll see what happens. It is what it is. I’ve give everything for the club in my ten years as a pro. We’ll see what happens.
“If it’s my last game then happy days, I can go out on a high. If not, then I’ll continue to represent the club as best I can.” as per Northern Echo.
Quite simply, letting go of a player who is approaching his prime, who has started 72% of his 38 League One appearances, and has stuck with the club during one of its worst periods would be a disaster from a Neil perspective.
Particularly when you bear in mind the fight that Sunderland will face next year in terms of keeping their status as a Championship outfit. The side will never want to see League One again, after being stuck in England’s third division for four years.
Gooch has been a massive part of Sunderland since his initial breakthrough in 2016 and has represented the Black Cats in all three tiers; the Premier League, Championship and League One.
The part the £5k-per-week earner has played for Sunderland in their promotion bid this season was integral. His versatility has been his best offering for the club, occupying six different positions across both flanks for Neil.
In the Championship, the depth that Gooch offers will be integral in what will be a potentially gruelling fight for survival.
Neil will need players who know the club well and can offer stability through consistency.
Gooch can offer exactly that and is a player who “truly gets it” in the words of the Chronicle.